Researching Financial Advisers: Key Qualities and How To Look for Them

If you decide it is time to hire a financial adviser to help you juggle monetary responsibilities, choose someone you have confidence in. There is a lot of information about money managers, but you can simplify the process of looking for an adviser by seeking important traits using available sources. Here are key qualities to look for in a financial adviser and advice on how to look for them.


A potential money manager should have solid knowledge about the financial industry and also about the types of investments and strategies that interest you. Potential candidates should be able to explain complicated concepts simply. If someone is using big words but not saying anything of substance or answering your questions, be wary.

Check industry databases to see what professional qualifications a particular adviser holds. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) offers BrokerCheck that lets you research individuals, and FINRA has a webpage that gives you information about professional designations, with links directly to the issuing authorities so you can check the credentials of specific professionals. The SEC also lets you search for both individuals and their firms.


Ideally, you will find a money planner who is candid and transparent about work history, payments and fees, and certifications. Also, be wary of anyone promising you great success, because an experienced, skilled financial planner knows guarantees cannot be made. Rather, you want someone who is honest and clear-spoken that readily tells you what is happening with your finances.

While anyone can say she or he is honest, you need to do some research on your own. A good way to learn more about a financial adviser’s reputation is to look for unbiased outside reviews. Here’s an example about Fisher Investments. It tells you about this independent money manager’s reputation within the financial sector. This is a good way to get a clearer understanding of methods and results as well as how a particular financial planner is viewed professionally by industry insiders.


You want to hire a financial planner in order to get assistance in developing a long-term money plan, but you also probably want advice. A good money manager can be encouraging when markets dip low and you feel anxious. They can help you avoid ditching your financial plan and selling everything in a panic. For this to occur, though, you need to work with an adviser you can reach.

The stock market is mercurial, and sometimes your situation changes quickly. Ask any potential financial adviser what sort of access you will have, both for regular activities and for sudden, unexpected circumstances. If you cannot reach your money manager when the need arises, you are not gaining the optimum benefit from the relationship. Check webpages for individual advisers as well as for firms, such as that of asset manager Fisher Investments, to get a feel for professional operations, and personally ask how available a potential adviser is willing to be.


Just because an adviser has many years of experience does not mean she or he is automatically the best choice. You need a money planner who can keep up with the latest developments to offer you the best service and the most fitting advice. In addition, talk to a potential adviser about experiences with circumstances resembling yours. Ask a potential adviser how she or he helped other clients in comparable situations and what sources and methods informed suggestions that created desired outcomes. Background checks from industry regulatory agencies give you a basic outline of experience, but personal interviews give you a more complete picture.

When looking to hire a financial adviser, you can focus your search by choosing the desired qualities that are important to you. There are specific ways you can research or determine if an adviser has those traits. This can then inform your choice in this important decision.

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